When looking for a product or service online, you’re more likely to choose a business near you. This is where local SEO comes in handy.
Local SEO helps increase awareness in new markets by ensuring that your content includes the top search terms in your specific target area. In this episode, we share the latest local SEO trends that are essential for the growth of your business within a targeted locality.
Berns San Juan: Let’s talk about local. So I think the last two years, if anything, the last two years have taught us, it’s that online behaviors have changed. And a lot of people don’t seem to know that a big beneficiary of that has been the small to medium businesses that have gone online. Yes, I’ll be the first to admit there are micro and small businesses that suffered through the pandemic. But in that chaos, some businesses emerged, started, and shine.
Local SEO Statistics
Let’s talk about why we’re talking about local in the first place. So the total number of Google searches that happened in 2018, actually 2019 and earlier, about 60% of Google searches were local. Granted that that’s gone down a bit now to about 46%, but that’s still huge. Roughly 46% of Google searches are for local results. That’s almost half of all Google searches. That’s incredible. And by the way, 105,000,000 Google searches happen in the Philippines daily. That’s huge.
So the total number of Google searches that are executed locally is about 46%. Almost one in two searches are for locally-oriented results. There was a 150% increase in near me searches and the Open now search queries nearly doubled. If anything, what that tells you is if you’re a business that benefits from local patronage from foot traffic, then the local strategy might be for you.
Welcome to another episode of the Truelogic DX Podcast. And today we’re going to talk about localization. In a previous episode, we talked about how the strategies for SEO are technical on-page content and links. But there’s a missing fifth strategy there, and that missing fifth strategy is localization.
What is Local SEO?
I threw out a bunch of stats at you earlier, but there’s more to it than that. Recently, Google released an update. I’m not sure, but this is probably a behavior you do. Have you ever Googled a restaurant name on have you ever Googled for a restaurant’s name?
If you have, then you’ll know what the search results look like. The results are called enriched snippets. And recently, Google updated that search snippet, that search result to not only be for a restaurant name, but to include dish types, specialties, and a food genre, right? This is super recent. So Google is improving.
Based on how users behave, Google improves the search product. And this is what the search engine is, right? Google is a search product, so they keep on improving over time. Now, when you’re working locally and I like to work I like to do local optimizations. If you’re familiar, again with a Google search, right, you usually get a couple of paid ads at the top, and you get the first organic result, but you’ll realize that you get one, two, or three map results snuck in the blended result.
For the organic search, the map results are what you call the Snack Pack. So we used to call them the map results, and then we called them the local pack and then the seven pack because they became seven results, and then from seven, they became three. So SEOs made fun of them, and we called them the Snack Pack because it’s a snack version of the seven local results that used to appear there. So the Snack Pack is incredibly easy to win. The Snapping is incredibly easy to win if it will take you six months to earn your spot on the first page of Google, it’ll take you 30 to 60 days to earn your spot in the Snack Pack.
Now, part of the reason it’s that quick is that everybody else is still slow to create a Google business profile, optimize a Google business profile, put schema on their website, and so on. So today I’m going to talk to you about the things you need to do to appear on that snippet to make an easy win in the next 30, 40, 50, or 60 days to start appearing on those Google Local results. So let’s have it. In an ideal scenario, somebody types in either your branding or let’s say you’re a tailor, right? Tailor Quezon City.
Because Google assumes because there’s a location, the motivation is probably I want to go moment. A person is probably trying to satisfy and I want to go moment. So what we’re trying to do with the strategies we’re talking about is to get you to appear on the snapping. What are the things you need to have to get that done? First things first, you need a website.
Well, technically you don’t, but again, in an ideal scenario, you do, right? You need to have a website because you’ll need to measure whether the strategy is working or not. And on your website, you have to have either your address in the footer, for example, Truelogic does not have branches, right? There’s this one office along Ayala Avenue. So I don’t need to have branch pages that say, oh, we’re located in Muntinlupa. I don’t need branch pages. I just need my address located on the footer of my website. So you need a website that indicates where you are physically located from where you are physically located. It’s not enough that the content is there, you have to mark it up correctly. When I say a correct markup, I’m talking about something called a local schema.
You’re making a declaration to Google that this establishment physically exists at this location. It’s fairly simple. You guys can go to schema.org and generate your local schema. Just add your address, floor, phone number, building, or whatever, and Schema.org will generate the code for you. And then you just insert it into your website.
But I am in the school of schema is pretty important because the new search engine, since the hummingbird, is very contextually oriented. And when you code something in the schema, Google gets instant context, it gets instant comprehension in terms of what content it’s looking at. It’s like shining a light on a section of a stage right? You call attention to it. Under normal circumstances, Google treats content at the top and to the left as more important than content at the bottom.
But when you code something with schema, it’s like shining a spotlight on a section of a stage where you’re telling Google, hey, have a look at that. That’s a pretty important piece of information. So, your local schema. Now, what happens if you have branches? At least have a branch page where all of your locations are listed.
But if you don’t have a lot of locations, I would say not a lot of locations are less than 20 locations. I might even say less than twelve locations. You might want a dedicated page per location, right? And then make sure that the address is indicated and that you’ve implemented local schema in those pages. This is the other thing you can do.
Now, normally, if you’ve got a proper local schema markup, you typically don’t need to claim your Google business profile anymore. But again, this is the ideal scenario. Ideally, you’ve got a website with your address, with proper local schema markup, and a claimed Google business profile that links back to your website, where the information on the Google business profile is consistent with your business name on your website, with your address on your website and your phone number on your website. The last thing that tells Google you’re locally relevant is when you are generating reviews, and I strongly encourage you guys to listen to reviews. This is, like, the most basic form of reputation management.
And again, we’ll talk about rep management as another topic, but this is, like, the most basic form of reputation management, and people listen to reviews, right? I read a study that said I’ll try to remember it correctly, but I think the study says 86% of customers read reviews. I’m part of that. 91% of millennials trust reviews and 92% of store visits begin with a search on a mobile device.
Nine of every ten people that will walk into your store will have Googled you before they walked into your store. That’s crazy. 52% of people who Google you today will visit you. 52%. One of every two people that do a search and find you will visit you today.
That number goes up if you stretch the today to 24 hours. So if one out of two people will visit you within the same day, almost nine out of ten will visit you in 24 hours. So I’ve got a perfect example of this, right? So I bought fabrics. Like, I’m a pajama guy.
So you guys that like to sleep in boxers, kudos to you, but I’m a pajama kind of guy, and I didn’t like any of the pajamas I saw in the market. So, as always, when I don’t like anything I see, I go to a fabric store, and I buy the cloth. I Google the fabric store, right? I Google a fabric store. I visit them on a Saturday, and I pick up a bunch of fabrics that I think would do well in terms of pajamas, I would like to try, but I’ve got pajamas that they can copy.
And of course, aside from the fabric, I need the tailor because I can’t sew, and I cannot make pajamas. I can do a lot of things. So I need the fabrics turned into pajamas. I need somebody skilled at doing that. So I Google a tailor.
So I do this Monday night, right? I Google for Tailor Cainta, and because I live in that area, so I Googled for Tailor Katipunan, and I found, like, two results. Like, ‘s sad, but I found two results, and I didn’t go to them Monday night. I went to them Tuesday morning, right? So I am part of this.
At least 88% of people will Google you and visit you within 24 hours, right? So that’s amazing. There’s another stat out there that says 18% of people that visit you begin from a search one in five will make a purchase. 18%. So almost one in five will make a purchase.
But 18 of every 100 people that have been driven to you by a motivated search will make a purchase that’s super, super impressive. So if you’re not doing local, you want to make sure that this is incorporated into your strategy. Because you can appear on the Snap Pack on the first page. You can appear on the Snack Pack relatively quickly compared to your organic efforts. If it takes you six months to win on organic SEO, it can take you 30 to 60 days if you’re not doing it.
Ways to Improve Your Local Search Rankings
If you’ve already got a Google, my business profile claims it. Claim your Google my business profile. Don’t be lazy. There’s something there that says the claim.
All you need is a Gmail account. Gmail accounts are free. An optimized Google business profile. I’ll stick to the basics.
When you say that a Google Business Profile is optimized, when the name, address, and phone number are the same that you’ve entered on your website, that you’ve properly entered your primary business category, you’ve added your business hours, the service in the areas that you service, right, your website if you have one. And ideally, you do a descriptor for your business and then customer reviews. Now, bonus content if you guys Google the brand Truelogic. Like if you Google our name, you’ll see the knowledge graph that appears on the right section of your search screen. And at the bottom, what you’ll notice is when we post anything on social media, we post them on the Google Business Profile, too, right?
Because you’ve already got the profile. You might as well syndicate because not all of your audience will be on Facebook, not all of your audience will be on LinkedIn, and not all of your audience will be on Google. And rule number one of marketing is to be where your audience is. Because it doesn’t matter how terrific your content is, if you put it inside a bottle and throw it in the ocean, nobody’s going to see it.
So have a website claim your Google Business profile. Make sure your name, address, and phone number are consistent. Post on your business profile where you can mind your reviews. And with that being said, there’s nothing left to talk about in terms of local, at least in the broadest of strategy.
So I hope that in this episode, I sort of help you bridge the gap and make a couple of quick wins for your business. Like, especially if you’re listening to this and you’re an SMB or a small to medium business, or I’ll expand that even, even if you’re a micro to small business, this is super relevant for you because, except the website, everything I talked about is free. So, you know, go back out there to your business. Go to your Google Business profile, and start claiming it. Start optimizing it. If you’ve got a website, link back to it.
And then once you can afford to build a site, enter your address, build branch pages, go for it. So I hope with this you enjoyed this episode of the Truelogic DX podcast as much as I did. Right? And thank you again for joining us. I’m so glad you’re still joining us after doing this for almost a year.
Give us a shout-out on social media, especially if there’s a topic that you want us to cover. We’re always listening, and we look forward to more contributions and collaboration with you on future episodes. Thank you to our friends at Podmachine for powering our podcast. Subscribe to our Spotify, Google, and Apple accounts and set up your alert for new episodes.